Archive for Friday, January 9, 2004

Legislative proposal would expand gambling

January 9, 2004


— The first bill for the upcoming legislative session to expand gambling was announced today.

House Speaker Pro Tem John Ballou, a Gardner Republican, said his proposal would allow slot-machine casinos at the state's three pari-mutuel racetracks, which are at Kansas City, Kan., Wichita and Frontenac. His measure would also allow casinos at Dodge City and Junction City.

Under the proposal, the state would own the slots and contract with a private vendor to run the casinos. The casino operators would get 60 percent of the net revenue, the state 39 percent, and one percent would go to non-profit organizations.

The measure, he said, would generate $150 million in revenue to the state annually.

He said the revenue could help solve some of the state's budget problems, including providing an increase to education.

"Before everything is said and done, we will be tying education and gambling together," he said.

Numerous gambling proposals are expected to be discussed during the legislative session, which starts Monday. Ballou's is similar to one that was approved by the House last year, but died in the Senate.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Saturday's Journal-World.

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